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A job fair, also commonly referred to as a job expo or career fair, is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools provide information to potential employees. Representatives from the company will talk to you, answer your questions, and conduct an in-person interview. 

So if you are a job seeker who wants to attend a job fair,  here are some tips to help you get prepared and organized and find success at a job fair. 

Prepare before going to the job fair: 

  • Look—or ask—for a list of all the companies attending before the event, and prioritize the ones you want to approach.

  • Pack a small bag that you can bring to move easily across the room during the event. Bring a pen and paper for taking notes, a business card (if you have one), and at least 20 copies of your resume.

  • Dress professionally and comfortably. Put on loose clothing and cozy footwear.

  • Create and memorize your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a 30-second soundbite about yourself you can give to recruiters, employers, and other professionals to get their interest in you as a candidate.

During the event:

  • Arrive on time. Being punctual demonstrates professionalism.

  • Don’t be shy. Approach each table confidently and say your prepared elevator - pitch. Make sure to greet them with a smile, firm handshake, and eye contact. 

  • Get your resume in their hands. While introducing yourself, hand your resume to the recruiter.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is important that you actively engage with others at a job fair. Ask questions to gain more information and demonstrate genuine interest in the organization.

  • Don’t limit your job options. Be open to other vacant positions to land new career opportunities, even if the openings they're advertising don't seem to fit your current skill set.

  • Don’t interrupt other candidates’ conversations. Observe respect for other candidates by patiently waiting to finish their conversations before introducing yourself.

After the event:

  • Do follow-up. Send a Thank you note to each person you met at the job fair event within 48 hours. Express your appreciation for their time, reiterate your interest, ask for their consideration regarding an open position, and invite them to speak with you further.

  • Take action: Apply for a position at the companies that interest you by following the recruiter's guidelines.   Make sure to send your resume online as soon as possible, if necessary, to keep your name fresh in the employer's mind.

You'll already be ahead of the pack if you come to a career fair prepared and organized, approach the tables courteously and with practice, and follow up appropriately.

by: Glenda Torres


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